Stuart Hall was largely known for his key contributions to sociology, his involvement with British politics, and his vast writing career that spanned nearly sixty years. Some of Stuart Hall’s contributions were to the first Cultural Studies program at Birmingham University, his ideas of race and media, and his theory of encoding and decoding. He also was a founding member of the New Left Review.
Cultural Studies is an academic field of study that investigates the ways in which culture creates and transforms individual experiences, everyday life, social relations, and power. Cultural Studies examine the forces within and through which socially organized people conduct and construct their daily lives. Hall believed that culture was not something you simply appreciate or study. He said culture was a “critical site of social action and intervention, where power relations are both established and potentially unsettled.” Stuart Hall also discussed notions of cultural identity, race, and ethnicity in the creation of the politics of black immigrants. Hall once said that identity is an ongoing product of history and culture rather than a finished product.
Hall often studied the link between racial prejudice and the media. He was concerned with how the media portrays the black community and the power it has over how people view a certain race. He once said “The mass media plays a curtail role defining the problems and issues of public concern. They are the main channels of public discourse in our segregated society.” In 1971 he made an influential appearance on BBC television where he criticized the way media portrayed blacks. He said that the black community has to be in the middle of a crisis or drama to even be noticed by the media. He also noted that the media often puts blacks in racially stereotyping positions despite the liberal views and discussions of the TV broadcasters.
Continuing on Stuart Hall’s belief that mass media controls the way people are...